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Beowulf: The New Translation | [Gerald J. Davis]

Beowulf: The New Translation

The origins, history and authorship of Beowulf are shrouded in uncertainty. This heroic epic probably began, as most do, with a wandering troubadour strumming a stringed instrument, sitting before a hearth-fire, and singing the verses to a spellbound audience arrayed before him. Beowulf is a rousing adventure story, filled with intrepid heroes, monsters and fire-breathing dragons, which can be listened to for the sheer enjoyment of the tale.
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Publisher's Summary

J. R. R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, in his famous 1936 lecture, "Beowulf, the Monsters and the Critics", said, "Beowulf is among my most valued sources. It is a work of genius, rare and surprising in the period, and it is worth studying. In Beowulf we have an historical story about the pagan past. Beowulf is not an actual picture of historic Denmark or Geatland or Sweden about 500 A.D. But it is, on a general view, a self-consistent picture, a construction bearing clearly the marks of design and thought. Beowulf is, indeed, the most successful old english heroic elegy."

The origins, history and authorship of Beowulf are shrouded in uncertainty. This heroic epic probably began, as most do, with a wandering troubadour strumming a stringed instrument, sitting before a hearth-fire, and singing the verses to a spellbound audience arrayed before him. At some point, the words of the troubadour were inscribed in manuscript form, in order to preserve the story for posterity. The events depicted in this story take place during the late fifth to early sixth century. However, there is great dispute among scholars as to when the manuscript itself was actually transcribed. Tolkien believed it was written about the eighth century, while other serious experts assert it was written as late as the early 11th century. Beowulf is a rousing adventure story, filled with intrepid heroes, monsters and fire-breathing dragons, which can be listened to for the sheer enjoyment of the tale.

©2013 Gerald J. Davis (P)2014 Gerald J. Davis

What Members Say

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  •  
    Kathy W. Keswick, New Brunswick Canada 07-05-14
    Kathy W. Keswick, New Brunswick Canada 07-05-14 Member Since 2014

    Love nature, snowshoeing, raising monarchs, quirky stories, stories that leave you thinking, victorian era stories, and stories with twists

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    "An enjoyable listen"
    Where does Beowulf: The New Translation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the third time I have tried to post a review for "Beowulf: The New Translation" by Gerald J. Davis. The other two reviews? Lost during computer malfunctions. What I was trying to say in those reviews, In a nutshell, is that through no fault of the author, I became confused a couple of times. When I realized there were stories within the story it all started making sense to me again. Beowulf is known by other names. That took me a while to figure out. In the end I felt that "Beowulf: The New Translation" by Gerald J. Davis was well presented and kept my interest throughout. A translation like this is not everyone's cup of tea but I think Gerald J. Davis will have more readers/listeners finding themselves carried away by the epic story of Beowulf if they give it a go.


    Which character – as performed by John Hanks – was your favorite?

    All characters.The narrator was brilliant. Bravo.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    What the world needs today is a Beowulf


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you to Gerald J. Davis for the free copy in return for an unbiased review.(I hope my review passes muster :-) )

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-16-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An enjoyable listen"

    I have never read or listened to any translation of Beowulf. I found this translation easy to understand and follow. It's a good story and interesting for it's historic value. I will seek out other translations by this author. The narration wasn't bad, just a little low and slow. It was much better at 1.25 speed, but since I was not familiar with the story, I kept it at regular speed so I didn't miss anything.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen 05-08-14
    Eileen 05-08-14 Member Since 2010

    P.H.

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    "A Classic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Beowulf: The New Translation to be better than the print version?

    The narrator did a excellent job telling the story and bringing the reader into the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Beowulf because of his battles with Grendel's mother and the dragon.


    What about John Hanks’s performance did you like?

    He did a excellent job.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 05-03-14
    Karen 05-03-14 Member Since 2015
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    "A classic story, beautifully told"

    Disclaimer: I received this audiobook from the translator in exchange for an honest review

    I read Beowulf in high school and enjoyed it, but would have had a greater appreciation for it had I heard this version. I found this audio version of Beowulf to be beautiful and poetic. While the story itself is powerful and timeless, Davis' translation and Hanks' narration improve upon it. John Hanks is a hidden gem, his voice is broad and resonant and he can voice whimsical passages as skillfully as he narrates more serious, dramatic scenes. This is a beautiful story, beautifully told... my only complaint is that at 3 hours and change, I enjoyed it so much that I wished it were longer. Highly recommended

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CSterle 10-14-14
    CSterle 10-14-14
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    "Hard to follow as audio"

    I got this audiobook for free with an honest review and since I've always wanted to read Beowulf I was looking forward to it. I'm not sure of anything to say specifically about the translation itself although I enjoyed the forward and explanations, and the text was seamless enough for my tastes. Having never read Beowulf elsewhere however I have nothing to compare it to. One thing I would say is that I think this was one story better read than listened to. I love audiobooks and typically follow and comprehend them very well. Additionally the reader for this audiobook did a superb job and I think his voice was the perfect fit for the classic tale. However, I did have trouble following it. I feel like I got the gist, but my overall comprehension and retention were not what I would like. I think I will definitely need to give it another listen or two, or pick up a text copy so I can really dwell on lines instead of having them pass me by.

    Overall if you're looking for a copy of Beowulf I have no scruples about recommending this one, or the reader, as both the translator and reader did an excellent job. Just be prepared for subject material that might take a little more concentration than other stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas More Billings, MT USA 04-27-15
    Thomas More Billings, MT USA 04-27-15 Member Since 2012

    Unafraid to read from any genre.

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    "A good translation of an ancient text"

    An archetype of English adventure. It celebrates the virtues of brotherhood, loyalty, generosity, goodness, and strength. John Hanks does an adequate job in his reading, though it could have been loads better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Kidney 05-24-15
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    "Good narrator/ story was ok."

    I had to read this for school. Listening to the story made it easier to comprehend. And the narrator had a good voice. The story was just not that interesting to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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